Learning Objectives

Identify the inquiries to ask in picking the appropriate kind of property for a business.Describe the sole proprietorship and also partnership forms of organization, and also specify the benefits and disadvantages.Identify the different types of partnerships, and explain the prestige of a cooperation agreement.Explain exactly how corporations are formed and how they operate.Discuss the advantages and defect of the corporate form of ownership.Examine special varieties of company ownership, consisting of limited-liability companies, and also not-for-profit corporations.Define mergers and acquisitions, and also explain why suppliers are motivated to unify or obtain other companies.

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The ice Cream Men

Who would have actually thought it? two ex-hippies with solid interests in social activism would end up starting one of the best-known ice cream carriers in the country—Ben & Jerry’s. Possibly it was intended to be. Ben Cohen (the “Ben” the Ben & Jerry’s) constantly had a fascination with ice cream. Together a child, that made his very own mixtures by wrecking his favorite cookies and also candies right into his ice cream cream. But it wasn’t till his senior year in high college that he ended up being an main “ice cream man,” happy driving his van through communities filled with kids eager to buy his ice cream cream pops. ~ high school, Ben make the efforts college however it wasn’t because that him. The attended Colgate university for a year and a fifty percent before the dropped out to return to his actual love: gift an ice cream man. That tried college again—this time in ~ Skidmore, whereby he studied pottery and also jewelry making—but, regardless of his choice of courses, quiet didn’t prefer it.

Figure 6.1: Ben Cohen and also Jerry green field in 2010

In the meantime, Jerry green field (the “Jerry” that Ben & Jerry’s) was adhering to a comparable path. He majored in pre-med at Oberlin college in the really hopes of one day coming to be a doctor. Yet he had to offer up on this goal once he was not accepted into medical school. Top top a hopeful note, though, his college education steered him into a more rewarding field: the civilization of ice cream cream making. He acquired his an initial peek at the ice cream cream industry when he operated as a ladle in the college student cafeteria in ~ Oberlin. So, fourteen year after they an initial met ~ above the junior high institution track team, Ben and Jerry reunited and also decided to go into ice cream making big time. They relocated to Burlington, Vermont—a college town in require of an ice cream cream parlor—and perfect a $5 correspondence food from pen State top top making ice cream. After getting an A in the course—not surprising, given that the tests were open up book—they take it the plunge: v their life savings of $8,000 and also $4,000 of obtained funds they collection up an ice cream cream shop in a made-over gas station on a busy street corner in Burlington.1 The next large decision to be which form of business ownership was finest for them. This chapter introduces girlfriend to their options.

Factors to Consider

If you’re beginning a new business, you have to decide i beg your pardon legal kind of property is best for you and your business. Do you desire to very own the service yourself and operate together a single proprietorship? Or, execute you want to re-publishing ownership, operation as a partnership or a corporation? before we comment on the pros and cons of this three types of ownership, let’s resolve some of the concerns that you’d probably ask you yourself in picking the proper legal type for her business.

In setup up your business, perform you desire to minimization the costs of obtaining started? execute you expect to avoid complicated government regulations and reporting requirements?How much control would girlfriend like? exactly how much duty for running the service are you ready to share? What about sharing the profits?Do you desire to protect against special taxes?Do you have all the an abilities needed to run the business?Are you most likely to get along with your co-owners over an extended duration of time?Is it essential to you that the organization survive you?What are your gaue won needs and how perform you setup to finance her company?How much an individual exposure to liability space you ready to accept? perform you feel uneasy about accepting an individual liability for the actions of fellow owners?

No single type of property will offer you whatever you desire. You’ll need to make part trade-offs. Due to the fact that each option has both advantages and disadvantages, your task is to decide which one offers the features that room most essential to you. In the following sections we’ll compare three ownership alternatives (sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation) on this eight dimensions.

Sole Proprietorship and also its Advantages

In a sole proprietorship, together the owner, girlfriend have complete control over her business. You make all necessary decisions and are generally responsible for every day-to-day activities. In exchange because that assuming every this responsibility, you get all the income earned by the business. Profits earned space taxed as personal income, so friend don’t need to pay any special federal and state revenue taxes.

Disadvantages of single Proprietorships

For many people, however, the single proprietorship is no suitable. The flip side of enjoying complete control is having to supply every the various talents that might be crucial to make the business a success. And also when you gone, the company dissolves. You likewise have to count on your very own resources for financing: in effect, you are the business and any money borrowed by the service is loaned to you personally. Even an ext important, the sole proprietor bear unlimited liability for any type of losses incurred by the business. The principle of unlimited personal liability means that if the organization incurs a blame or sick a catastrophe (say, acquiring sued for leading to an injury come someone), the owner is personally liable. Together a single proprietor, you put your an individual assets (your bank account, her car, maybe even your home) at threat for the benefits of your business. You can lessen your risk with insurance, yet her liability exposure deserve to still it is in substantial. Provided that Ben and Jerry chose to start their ice cream cream business together (and as such the service was not owned by only one person), they could not set their company up together a sole proprietorship.


A partnership (or basic partnership) is a business owned together by two or more people. Around 10 percent the U.S. Businesses are partnerships2 and also though the vast bulk are small, part are quite large. Because that example, the big four public bookkeeping firms space partnerships. Setting up a cooperation is more complicated than setting up a single proprietorship, but it’s still relatively easy and also inexpensive. The cost varies follow to size and also complexity. It’s feasible to kind a basic partnership there is no the assist of a lawyer or one accountant, though it’s usually a an excellent idea to get experienced advice.

Professionals can help you identify and resolve issues that may later produce disputes among partners.

The partnership Agreement

The impact of disputes can be minimized if the partners have executed a well-planned partnership agreement that mentions everyone’s rights and responsibilities. The agreement might carry out such details together the following:

Amount the cash and other contributions to be made by each partnerdivision of partnership income (or loss)Partner responsibilities—who does whatConditions under which a partner can sell an attention in the companyConditions because that dissolving the partnershipConditions because that settling disputes

Unlimited Liability and the Partnership

A significant problem through partnerships, just like sole proprietorships, is unlimited liability: in this case, each companion is personally liable not just for his or her own actions but likewise for the actions of every the partners. If your partner in an architecture firm makes a wrong that reasons a structure to collapse, the lose your company incurs results you simply as lot as it would him or her. And here’s the really poor news: if the company doesn’t have the cash or other assets come cover losses, you deserve to be personally sue for the lot owed. In other words, the party who endured a loss because of the error deserve to sue you because that your an individual assets. Many civilization are understandably wake up to go into into partnerships due to the fact that of countless liability. Specific forms of businesses allow owners come limit your liability. This include restricted partnerships and also corporations.

Limited Partnerships

The legislation permits business owners to type a limited partnership which has actually two species of partners: a single general companion who runs the business and also is responsible because that its liabilities, and any number of restricted partners that have minimal involvement in the business and also whose casualty are minimal to the amount of their investment.

Advantages and also Disadvantages the Partnerships

The partnership has actually several advantages over the single proprietorship. First, it brings together a diverse group of talented people who share duty for to run the business. Second, it renders financing easier: the company can draw on the financial resources of a variety of individuals. The partners not only add funds come the company but can also use personal resources to secure bank loans. Finally, continually needn’t it is in an issue because partners have the right to agree legitimate to enable the cooperation to endure if one or much more partners die.

Still, there are some negatives. First, as discussed earlier, partners are subject to endless liability. Second, being a partner means that you need to share decision making, and also many human being aren’t comfortable with that situation. Not surprisingly, partners frequently have differences of opinion on exactly how to run a business, and also disagreements can escalate to the allude of jeopardizing the continue of the business. Third, in enhancement to sharing ideas, partners also share profits. This plan can work-related as lengthy as every partners feel that they’re being rewarded follow to your efforts and accomplishments, yet that isn’t constantly the case. While the partnership kind of property is regarded negatively through some, that was particularly appealing to Ben Cohen and also Jerry Greenfield. Beginning their ice cream business as a partnership to be inexpensive and let them incorporate their limited financial resources and use your diverse skills and talents. Together friends lock trusted every other and also welcomed common decision making and also profit sharing. They were additionally not reluctant to be held personally liable because that each other’s actions.


A corporation (sometimes dubbed a continual or C-corporation) different from a single proprietorship and also a partnership because it’s a legal reality that is totally separate native the parties who very own it. It can get in into binding contracts, buy and sell property, sue and be sued, be hosted responsible because that its actions, and also be taxed. Once businesses with any an extensive size, the is helpful to organize as a coporation, group so that its owners deserve to limit their liability. Corporations, then, tend to be far larger, ~ above average, than businesses using other forms of ownership. As figure 6.2 shows, corporations account because that 18 percent of every U.S. Businesses however generate virtually 82 percent that the revenues.3 Most huge well-known businesses are corporations, but so are countless of the smaller firms v which most likely you do business.

Figure 6.2: varieties of U.S. Businesses

Ownership and Stock

Corporations space owned by shareholders that invest money in the organization by buying share of stock. The portion of the coporation, group they own depends top top the portion of share they hold. Because that example, if a corporation has issued 100 share of stock, and you very own 30 shares, you own 30 percent of the company. The shareholders selected a board that directors, a group of civilization (primarily from exterior the corporation) who room legally responsible because that governing the corporation. The board oversees the major policies and also decisions do by the corporation, to adjust goals and holds administration accountable because that achieving them, and also hires and evaluates the height executive, generally called the CEO (chief executive, management officer). The board additionally approves the circulation of revenue to shareholder in the type of cash payments called dividends.

Benefits that Incorporation

The corporate kind of organization provides several advantages, including limited liability because that shareholders, greater accessibility to jae won resources, dedicated management, and continuity.

Limited Liability

The many important benefit of organization is the limited liability to which shareholders space exposed: they space not responsible for the duties of the corporation, and also they deserve to lose no more than the amount that they have personally invest in the company. Restricted liability would have been a huge plus for the unfortunate individual whose company partner shed down your dry cleaning establishment. Had actually they been incorporated, the copy, group would have actually been liable because that the debts occurs by the fire. If the corporation didn’t have enough money to salary the debt, the individual shareholders would not have been mandatory to salary anything. They would have actually lost every the money that they’d invest in the business, yet no more.

Financial Resources

Incorporation also makes it possible for businesses to raise funds by selling stock. This is a huge advantage as a agency grows and needs more funds to operate and also compete. Depending on its size and also financial strength, the corporation likewise has an advantage over other creates of organization in getting financial institution loans. An established corporation deserve to borrow its own funds, however when a small business requirements a loan, the financial institution usually requires that the be guarantee by that is owners.

Specialized Management

Because the their size and ability to salary high sales commissions and benefits, companies are normally able come attract more skilled and also talented employee than room proprietorships and partnerships.

Continuity and Transferability

Another advantage of incorporation is continuity. Because the corporation has actually a legit life different from the resides of its owners, it have the right to (at least in theory) exist forever.

Transferring property of a copy, group is easy: shareholders just sell your stock come others. Some founders, however, want to limit the transmission potential of your stock and also so choose to operate as a privately-held corporation. The stock in these corporations is hosted by only a few individuals, who space not allowed to sell it come the basic public.

Companies with no such restrictions on share sales are dubbed public corporations; stock is accessible for revenue to the basic public.

Drawbacks come Incorporation

Like single proprietorships and also partnerships, corporations have actually both positive and an adverse aspects. In sole proprietorships and also partnerships, because that instance, the individuals who own and manage a business are the exact same people. This firm managers, however, nothing necessarily own stock, and also shareholders nothing necessarily work for the company. This instance can be troublesome if the objectives of the two groups differ significantly.

Managers, for example, room often much more interested in career advance than the all at once profitability the the company. Stockholders might care an ext about revenues without regard because that the wellness of employees. This case is known as the agency problem, a dispute of interest inherent in a partnership in which one party is supposed to plot in the best interest of the other. It is often quite complicated to protect against self-interest from entering right into these situations.

Another drawback come incorporation—one that often discourages little businesses from incorporating—is the truth that corporations are more costly to collection up. Once you combine filing and licensing fees with bookkeeping and attorney fees, incorporating a company could collection you back by $1,000 to $6,000 or much more depending top top the size and scope of your business.4 Additionally, corporations are subject to levels of regulation and governmental monitor that deserve to place a burden on tiny businesses. Finally, corporations are subject to what’s generally dubbed “double taxation.” Corporations are taxed by the federal and state governments on their earnings. When these earnings are dispersed as dividends, the shareholder pay taxes on these dividends. Corporate profits are hence taxed twice—the corporation pays the taxes the an initial time and the shareholder pay the taxes the 2nd time.

Five years after starting their ice cream business, Ben Cohen and Jerry green field evaluated the pros and cons the the corporate type of ownership, and also the “pros” won. The primary motivator was the must raise funds to build a $2 million manufacturing facility. Not only did Ben and also Jerry decision to switch from a cooperation to a corporation, but they likewise decided to sell shares of share to the public (and thus become a windy corporation). Your sale of share to the general public was a little unusual: Ben and also Jerry wanted the ar to very own the company, so instead of giving the stock to anyone interested in purchase a share, they available stock to residents of vermont only. Ben believed that “business has actually a responsibility to give ago to the ar from which the draws that support.”5 He wanted the firm to be own by those that lined up in the gas station to buy cones. The stock was so famous that one in every hundreds Vermont families bought share in the company.6 Eventually, together the firm continued to expand, the share was marketed on a national level.

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Other types of organization Ownership

In addition to the three commonly adopted forms of organization organization—sole proprietorship, partnership, and also regular corporations—some service owners select other forms of company to meet their details needs. Fine look at 2 of this options:

Limited-liability companiesNot-for-profit corporations

Limited-Liability Companies

How would you prefer a legal type of company that offers the attractive features of the three common forms of company (corporation, single proprietorship and partnership) and also avoids the unattractive features of these three company forms? The limited-liability company (LLC) accomplishes specifically that. This form provides organization owners with restricted liability (a vital advantage of corporations) and no “double taxation” (a vital advantage of sole proprietorships and partnerships). Stop look in ~ the llc in an ext detail.

In 1977, Wyoming ended up being the an initial state to enable businesses to operate as limited-liability companies. Twenty years later, in 1997, Hawaii became the last state to offer its approval come the new organization form. Due to the fact that then, the limited-liability company has boosted in popularity. Its rapid development was sustained in component by transforms in state statutes the permit a limited-liability firm to have actually just one member. The trend to LLCs deserve to be experienced by reading firm names ~ above the side of van or on shop in her city. It is usual to watch names such as Jim Evans Tree Care, LLC, and For-Cats-Only vet Clinic, LLC. But LLCs space not minimal to tiny businesses. Service providers such as Crayola, domino Pizza, Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, and iSold the (which helps people sell their undesirable belongings on eBay) space operating under the limited-liability kind of organization.

In a limited-liability company, owner (called members rather than shareholders) room not personal liable because that debts that the company, and its income are taxed just once, at the personal level (thereby eliminating dual taxation).

We have actually touted the services of minimal liability protection for one LLC. We now require to suggest out some situations under which an llc member (or a shareholder in a corporation) could be hosted personally liable because that the fan of his or she company. A service owner deserve to be hosted personally responsible if that or she:

Personally assures a organization debt or bank loan which the company fails to pay.Fails to pay employment taxes come the government.Engages in fraudulent or illegal habits that harms the firm or someone else.Does no treat the company as a different legal entity, for example, uses agency assets for an individual uses.

Not-for-Profit Corporations

A not-for-profit corporation (sometimes called a nonprofit) is one organization developed to serve part public function rather 보다 for gaue won gain. As lengthy as the organization’s activity is for charitable, religious, educational, scientific, or literary purposes, it can be freed from paying earnings taxes. Additionally, individuals and also other organizations that add to the not-for-profit corporation can take a taxation deduction because that those contributions. The species of teams that normally apply for nonprofit standing vary widely and include churches, synagogues, mosques, and other areas of worship; museums; universities; and conservation groups.

There are much more than 1.5 million not-for-profit institutions in the united States.7 part are very well funded, such as the Bill and also Melinda entrances Foundation, which has actually an endowment of about $40 billion and also has offered away $36.7 billion since its inception.8 Others space nationally recognized, such as unified Way, Goodwill Industries, Habitat because that Humanity, and the Red Cross. However the vast majority is neither rich nor famous, yet nevertheless makes far-reaching contributions come society.

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Mergers and Acquisitions

The headline read, “Wanted: an ext than 2,000 in Google hiring Spree.”9 The largest internet search engine in the human being was discover its to plan to prosper internally and increase its workforce by more than 2,000 people, with half of the rental coming from the united States and the other fifty percent coming from other countries. The added employees will aid the company expand into new markets and also battle for worldwide talent in the compete Internet info providers industry. When properly executed, internal growth benefits the firm.

An alternative approach to development is to merge with or acquire one more company. The reason behind development through merger or salvation is that 1 + 1 = 3: the combined firm is more valuable than the amount of the two separate companies. This rationale is attractive come companies dealing with competitive pressures. Come grab a bigger re-superstructure of the market and also improve profitability, suppliers will desire to become an ext cost reliable by combine with various other companies.

Mergers and Acquisitions

Though they are frequently used as if they’re synonymous, the terms merger and acquisition median slightly various things. A merger occurs once two companies integrate to form a new company. An acquisition is the purchase of one agency by another. An example of a merger is the merging in 2013 of us Airways and American Airlines. The linked company, the biggest carrier in the world, flies under the surname American Airlines.

Another example of an salvation is the purchase of Reebok by Adidas because that $3.8 billion.10 The deal was meant to give Adidas a stronger presence in phibìc America and aid the firm compete with rival Nike. As soon as this acquisition to be completed, Reebok as a company ceased come exist, though Adidas still sells pair of shoes under the Reebok brand.

Motives behind Mergers and also Acquisitions

Companies are motivated to merge or obtain other carriers for a number of reasons, consisting of the following.

Gain complementary Products

Acquiring complementary products to be the an ideas behind adidas’s acquisition the Reebok. As Adidas CEO Herbert Hainer proclaimed in a conference call, “This is a once-in- a-lifetime opportunity. This is a perfect fit because that both companies, due to the fact that the suppliers are so complementary…. Adidas is base in sporting activities performance through such assets as a motorized to run shoe and endorsement encounters such superstars as British soccer player David Beckham. Meanwhile, Reebok plays greatly to the mediate of sports and also entertainment with endorsement deals and products by Nelly, Jay-Z, and 50 Cent. The combination could it is in deadly to Nike.” that course, Nike has ongoing to thrive, yet one can’t blame hyiner for his optimism.11

Attain brand-new Markets or distribution Channels

Gaining brand-new markets was a far-ranging factor in the 2005 merger of united state Airways and America West. United state Airways was a major player ~ above the eastern Coast, the Caribbean, and also Europe, while America West was solid in the West. The expectations were that combining the 2 carriers would create an airline that might reach an ext markets than either carrier can do ~ above its own.12

Realize Synergies

The purchase of Pharmacia coporation, group (a swedish pharmaceutical company) by Pfizer (a research-based pharmaceutical firm based in the joined States) in 2003 developed one of the world’s biggest drug makers and pharmaceutical companies, by revenue, in every significant market roughly the globe.13 The acquisition created an industry giant with an ext than $48 billion in revenue and also a research-and-development budget of much more than $7 billion. Every day, nearly forty million people around the world are treated with Pfizer medicines.14 Its succeeding $68 billion acquisition of competitor drug an equipment Wyeth additional increased its visibility in the pharmaceutical market.15

In pursuing this acquisitions, Pfizer likely identified numerous synergies: rather simply, a entirety that is greater than the sum of the parts. There are many examples of synergies. A merger typically results in a variety of redundant positions; the combined agency does not most likely need two vice-presidents the marketing, two chief jae won officers, and so on. Eliminating the redundancy positions leads to far-ranging cost savings that would not be establish if the two companies did no merge. Let’s say every of the providers was operation factories at 50% of capacity, and also by merging, one factory can be closed and sold. That would also be an instance of a synergy. Companies bring different strengths and weaknesses into the combined entity. If the newly-combined firm can take benefit of the marketing capability of the stronger entity and the circulation capabilities that the other (assuming they space stronger), the brand-new company can realize synergy effect in both of these functions.

Hostile Takeover

What happens, though, if one firm wants come acquire one more company, however that firm doesn’t desire to it is in acquired? The outcome could be a hostile takeover—an plot of assuming control that’s stood up to by the targeted company’s management and also its board of directors. Ben Cohen and also Jerry Greenfield discovered themselves in one of these situations: Unilever—a very large Dutch/British agency that owns three ice cream brands—wanted to buy Ben & Jerry’s, versus the founders’ wishes. Many of the Ben & jerry’s stockholders sided with Unilever. They had small confidence in the capacity of Ben Cohen and Jerry greenfield to continue managing the company and to be frustrated v the this firm social-mission focus. The stockholders chosen Unilever’s offer to buy their Ben & Jerry’s stock at virtually twice its current market price and wanted come take their profits. In the end, unilever won; Ben & jerry was gained by unilever in a hostile takeover.16 regardless of fears that the company’s society mission would end, it didn’t happen. Though neither Ben Cohen no one Jerry greenfield are associated in the current management the the company, they have returned to their social to work roots and also are heavily affiliated in many social initiatives sponsored by the company.

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Chapter Video: service Structures 

Here is a short video clip providing a an easy and straightforward recap that the vital points that each kind of business ownership.